Character

Character

Character is an Intensive, meaning it happens in a short time span (1 day in NYC, or 2 days on Zoom, or 3 weeks Online). The course includes a mixture of lectures and exercises. It’s open to writers of any level. Farther down, you can view a syllabus for this course.

Characters are the beating heart of every story—fiction, nonfiction, any kind of scripted show. In fact, it’s their actions, dialogue, habits, quirks, appearance, gestures, hopes, dreams, fears, triumphs, failures, and flaws that make a story what it is. We follow people like Sherlock, Hamlet, Katniss, Batman, Sethe, and ________ (fill in your great character here) not because they’re nice folks, but because they fascinate us.

It’s almost magical, bringing people to life through words. Here you’ll learn techniques for creating and revealing characters that seem as vividly dimensional as your wife or boss or next-door neighbor.

Whether you’re working with imaginary or real people, we’ll show you how to write characters that your readers or audience won’t soon forget.

About Character
Character

This is the place to really understand what characterization is all about.

Pamela Dini

researcher

Notes

This is a cross-genre course, applicable to any kind of writing that contains characters, including nonfiction.

Upcoming Classes

Masks are not required, but we’ll provide masks for those who want them. We are no longer requesting proof of vaccination.

More Covid details

Price

Registration fee $25, paid once per term

3-Week

Syllabus

This course gives an overview of how to realize great characters, in any genre. Course components:
     Lectures
     Writing exercises

New York City/Zoom classes
The syllabus varies from teacher to teacher, term to term. Many topics will be similar to those covered in the Online classes.

Online classes
Week 1
All of Humanity: The role of character. Admirable traits and flaws. Round and flat characters. Origins of characters.

Week 2
Getting to Know Them: Background. Physicality. Personality. Magic keys. Contrasts and consistency.

Week 3
The Character Thickens: Voice—speech, narration. Desire. Change. Names.

Note: Content may vary among individual classes. 

Teachers

Lisa Namdar Kaufman
Lisa Namdar Kaufman

Lisa Namdar Kaufman wrote the animated feature film Baldy Heights (Bleiberg Entertainment/Pitchipoy Productions), and the TV drama In the Prime of Her Life, which aired on Israel’s public broadcasting station. She has written short films that have been shown at festivals around the world, from the Cannes International Film Festival to the Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival. She has served as story editor on the documentary film 8000 Paper Clips and TV shows in development with Sony, ABC, and Happy Madison. She has taught at Columbia University and the New York Independent Film Workshop. She holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA in Film from Columbia University.

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